Iowa Democrat drops bid to challenge Grassley after death of nephew

Former Crawford County supervisor Dave Muhlbauer (D) announced Tuesday that he is dropping his bid to unseat Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyFormer Sen. Bob Dole dies at 98 Alarm grows over smash-and-grab robberies amid holiday season GOP blocks bill to expand gun background checks after Michigan school shooting MORE (R) in Iowa due to the death of his nephew earlier this year.

“For those of you who are not aware, my nephew died in an accident earlier this year. As I’m sure you can all imagine, this has had a devastating effect on our family. It’s something you can never prepare yourself for and will leave a hole that will never be filled,” Muhlbauer said in a statement.

“After a period of reflection with my family and close friends, I have decided that I will not be able to continue my campaign for the United States Senate. I hope you’ll all understand that my family and I continue to need time together to grief,” he added. 

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Muhlbauer’s 4-year-old nephew died on Aug. 12 in a farm accident, The Carroll Times-Herald reported.

The farmer launched his campaign in May. The competitive Democratic primary field for the seat also includes former Rep. Abby FinkenauerAbby Lea FinkenauerIowa Democrat drops bid to challenge Grassley after death of nephew Democrat Mike Franken launches challenge to Grassley in Iowa Trump says Grassley has his 'complete and total endorsement' MORE and retired U.S. Navy Admiral Mike Franken.

Democrats face a tough race against Grassley, who has been in Iowa state politics for decades.